Kids are born scientists. They are curious, always experimenting and testing ideas. But over the years, they lost interest in science, stopped exploring and testing ideas. Why is this happening? How can we get kids interested in science throughout their lives?
How to Spark Kids Interest in Science
First, kids need understand that science is in everyone’s life. You don’t have to be scientists to love science. The best thing we can do to keep kids’ interest in science is to keep their curiosity. Instead of dismiss their questions or interest, we want to praise their attention to things around us and encourage them to find out the answer on their own. Why do leaves turn yellow in the fall? Why are so many little holes in our bread? Why dogs have shorter lives than human beings? Instead of saying “I don’t know” or even complaining the many questions they ask, help them find answers or tell them where to go to find the answers.
Second, talk about your observations of the things around you and explain the simple science behind them. “I see the steam when the water is boiling. Do you know why?” If you don’t know the answer, look it up together with kids. Today we have internet, it is all very easy to do. This is to role model a behavior you want your child to have. If you can share observations they are interested in, they will be even more proned to explore it with you. Imagine the kid, who is interested in soccer, react to your question “what makes a good curve ball?”
Third, keep science books and resources at your fingertips, make it a daily habit to read or explore something science’y. Keep an encyclopedia on your dinning table, having a science app on your phone.
When you choose the science resources, one key criteria is having kids appropriate content. Are the content at the length that fits my child’s attention span? Does the content fit my child’s interest? Are there many vocabulary in the content beyond my child’s comprehension? Is it multimedia? Is it interactive? Is there any hands-on activities?
Science App For Kids
Recently I discovered an app Tappity. It is a fun science app for elementary school kids, age 5-12. It has all the elements I mentioned above. As a subscription based app, it releases content on a weekly and monthly basis. Weekly content is shorter, about 3-10 minutes; monthly release is longer, but still within kids attention span, 15-20 minutes.
All content is science based. Now already in the app, you will find topics like: Solar System Tour, Adventure to the Earth Core, Build an Animal, Journey to the Ocean Floor, Amazing Insects, What is a Dinosaur, …
Each unit are built with fun facts of the topic. For example, in the Solar System Tour, kids follow the guide to travel in space in year 2050. They will learn that they will be 4 times old as they are on earth. They will also learn how long it takes to cook an egg on Mercury.
There are some questions I did know. Do you know where does sand come from? Why do snakes shed their skin? Why are Flamingos pink?
It won’t replace a science class, but it does make you wonder all these interesting science questions. This is exactly what kids need to stay interested in science, so they are eager to learn when they are in the science class.
There is one episode that I do have a personal reservation. In the solar system episode, when travelling to Mars, Elon Mask, wearing a king’s hat, welcomes visitors on Mars claiming himself a king on Mars. I felt that is so contradict from what learning science is about – to learn the world around us and to help the human race to develop. It is not about being a king somewhere. Although it can be brushed off as a joke, but many things started with harmless jokes that are just wrong. Personally I am still debating if I should let my kids use this app. Please take a look and let me know what you think.
As an iGameMom reader, you can get one month free if you enter IGAMEMOM in the “How did you hear about us” after downloading the app if you’d like to take this opportunity to check it out.
For more Science and STEM Activity ideas, check out:
500+ Science Activities for Every Month of the Year,
150+ Kitchen STEM Activities Kids Love,
DIY Summer Coding Camps for Kids